Sara Netanyahu

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Sara Netanyahu
Sara Netanyahu (40345853590) (cropped).jpg
Netanyahu in 2018
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Israel
Assumed role
31 March 2009
Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu
Preceded byAliza Olmert
In role
18 June 1996 – 6 July 1999
Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu
Preceded bySonia Peres
Succeeded byNava Barak
Personal details
Sara Ben-Artzi

(1958-11-05) 5 November 1958 (age 60)
Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel
Children2 sons
ResidenceBeit Aghion, Jerusalem
Alma materTel Aviv University
OccupationEducational psychologist

Sara Netanyahu (Hebrew: שרה נתניהו; née Ben-Artzi; born 5 November 1958) is the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By profession, she is an educational and career psychologist.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sara on her father Shmuel Ben-Artzi's lap in 1960.

Sara Ben-Artzi (later Netanyahu) was born in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Tiv'on, near Haifa. Her father, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, was a Polish-born Israeli Jewish educator, author, poet and biblical scholar, who died in 2011 at the age of 97. Her mother, Chava (Paritzky), was a sixth-generation Jerusalemite. She has three brothers, all of whom were Israel Bible Contest champions: Matanya Ben-Artzi, a professor of mathematics, Hagai Ben-Artzi, a professor of Bible and Jewish Thought, and Amatzia Ben-Artzi, a technology entrepreneur.[1] She attended Greenberg High School in Kiryat Tiv'on, where she was an outstanding student. She later worked as a reporter for Maariv LaNoar, a weekly magazine for Israeli teenagers. In the Israel Defense Forces, she was a psycho-technical evaluator in the Department of Behavioral Sciences of the Military Intelligence Directorate ("Aman").[1] Netanyahu completed a BA in psychology at Tel Aviv University in 1984 and her master's degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1996.[1]


Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sara visit a Bedouin tent in Jordan, 1996

Netanyahu worked as a psychotechnical evaluator of gifted children at "the Institute for Promoting Youth Creativity and Excellence" headed by Dr. Erika Landau, and at a rehabilitation center of the Ministry of Labour. She also worked as an El Al flight attendant.[1]

As Consort of the Premier, Netanyahu chaired Yad b'Yad, an aid organization for abused children and Tza'ad Kadima for children with cerebral palsy. In 2000, she went back to working as an educational psychologist in the psychological service of the Jerusalem Municipality.

Her work includes psychological diagnoses and treatment for children in the school system and assistance to children from families in distress.[1]


In her husband's first term as Prime Minister, Sara Netanyahu received much media attention, usually negative in tone, due to allegations of poor interpersonal relations. She won a libel case filed against Schocken publishers for falsely maligning her, and a libel suit in 2002 against the local paper Kol Ha'ir, after two unfounded reports were published about her in the paper's gossip column.[2][3] In 2008, Channel 10 reported that during the 2006 Lebanon War, when she travelled to London with her husband for a public diplomacy campaign, she spent a large sum of money on luxuries that was paid for by a donor in London.[4] In response Netanyahu filed a libel suit against the channel.[5][6] As Sara's trip had not been approved by the Knesset's Ethics Committee, her husband was notified by the committee.[7]

In January 2010, Yediot Ahronot reported that the Netanyahu family's housekeeper sued Sara Netanyahu in a labor court for withholding wages, unfair working conditions and verbal abuse.[8] Netanyahu was sued as of March 2014 by another caretaker and former bodyguard to the family over claims that she was abusive towards him.[9]

In February 2016, a judge in the Jerusalem Labor Court ruled in favor of plaintiff Meni Naftali, who claimed that Sara Netanyahu had created a hostile work environment for him as an employee. The judge awarded him damages of NIS 170,000.[10] The National Labor Court subsequently rejected her appeal.

Corruption case[edit]

In 2015, an investigation was opened against Sara Netanyahu, after reports surfaced that she had ordered catered meals and charged the government nearly $100,000 for the expenses, when the Prime Minister's Office already employed a cook.[11] Police recommended indicting her in 2016.[12]

On September 8, 2017, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced filing an indictment, pending a pre-indictment hearing, against Sara Netanyahu in the "Prime Minister's residence affair." Netanyahu was accused of fraudulently receiving some $100,000 for her part in ordering meals at the state’s expense without authorization.[13][14]

On January 17, 2018, the pre-indictment hearing was held. Netanyahu's lawyers met with Mandelblit, while she herself did not attend, breaking with usual custom.[15] On June 21, 2018, Netanyahu was indicted after negotiations for a plea bargain collapsed.[16][17] Her trial was due to start in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on July 19.[18]

On October 7, 2018, Netanyahu appeared in a Jerusalem court for the start of her trial. Her lawyers called her oblivious to the regulations and argued that the meals were ordered by an assistant for visiting dignitaries. In the past, Benjamin Netanyahu has labeled the allegations as “baseless and delusional”.[19]

On June 16, 2019, Netanyahu signed a plea deal and was convicted of misusing state funds, with the more severe charge of fraud being dropped. She was ordered to pay 55,000 NIS ($15,275) to the state, only a third of the amount she was accused of stealing. [20]

Personal life[edit]

Lighting a Hanukkah candle with her husband and sons

Netanyahu married Doron Neuberger in 1980. The couple divorced in 1987.[21] In 1991, she married Benjamin Netanyahu. They have two sons, Yair and Avner. In 2010, her son Avner won the International Bible Contest award on the national level, and came in third place on the international level.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Curriculum Vitae - Sara Netanyahu (retrieved 2019-04-05), Archived 2011-10-08 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "ynet שרה נתניהו זכתה בתביעת פיצויים נגד "כל העיר" - חדשות". ynet.
  3. ^ גולן, מתי. "לשרה נתניהו יש אומץ לב". Globes.
  4. ^ "ynet פנייה למזוז: חקור מי מימן הוצאות נתניהו בלונדון - חדשות". ynet.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "News1 - תביעה: בנימין נתניהו נ' חדשות ערוץ 10".
  7. ^ "חדשות - פוליטי/מדיני nrg - ...ועדת האתיקה: נסיעת שרה נתניהו".
  8. ^ כהן, גילי (1 September 2011). "תלונה נגד שרה נתניהו על העסקת המטפלת של אביה בתנאי עבדות" – via Haaretz.
  9. ^ Tait, Robert (20 March 2014), Netanyahus sued by former caretaker over 'racist and physical abuse', The Telegraph
  10. ^ Meni Naftali wins partial verdict in Netanyahu lawsuit YNET, Jan 10, 2016
  11. ^ "The wife of Israel's prime minister was just indicted for buying $100,000 of gourmet meals".
  12. ^ "Prosecution leaning toward indicting Sara Netanyahu".
  13. ^ Israel, David. "AG: Sara Netanyahu to Be Charged with Fraudulently Receiving $100,000".
  14. ^ "Attorney-General: Sara Netanyahu likely to be indicted for fraud".
  15. ^ Hovel, Revital (4 April 2018). "Attorney General Meets Sara Netanyahu's Lawyers Prior to Issuing Indictment" – via Haaretz.
  16. ^ "Sara Netanyahu indicted for falsely charging state $100k for meals".
  17. ^ Sara Netanyahu Charged With Fraud for Ordering $96k Worth of Meals From Gourmet Chefs
  18. ^ "Sara Netanyahu trial to start July 19".
  19. ^ "Sara Netanyahu's fraud and breach of trust trial begins in Jerusalem". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  20. ^ staff, T. O. I. "Sara Netanyahu convicted of misusing state funds, says she's 'suffered enough'". Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  21. ^ "Sara Netanyahu's Ex-husband to 'tell All' in Planned Book - Jewish Telegraphic Agency".

External links[edit]

Sara Netanyahu on Prime minister office website